Female Viagra: Much Ado About Nothing? Or Worse?
July 17, 2016
For women with low libido, there has not been a magic pill. That is until recently. In 2015, the FDA approved a drug called Addyi®. It has been called the “Female Viagra®,” but it is not without controversy. In this post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast women’s health expert Dr. Ralph Turner answers questions regarding the pros and cons of this new drug.
- In medical terms, a low sex drive or lack of desire for sex is called Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder -- or HSDD. What is HSDD and how common is it for women?
- What causes women to have a low sex drive or a diminished desire for sex?
- Are there symptoms or problems associated with HSDD besides the lack of desire for sex?
- In August 2015, the Food & Drug Administration approved Flibanserin, sold under the brand name Addyi®. This is the first-ever medication for treating low sex drive in women. What is Addyi® and how does it work?
- What are some of the controversial issues surrounding Addyi®?
- Only health providers who have been certified can prescribe Addyi® and only pharmacies that have been certified can sell it. Is this a common practice for a new medicine?
- How is Addyi® taken?
- Published results have shown that Addyi® is not very effective in treating a woman's low sex drive and that it has potentially dangerous side effects. Are those published results correct?
- There are 26 drugs -- Viagra and Cialis being examples -- that have been approved for male sexual dysfunction. Only Addyi® has been approved for treating women. Some believe that this reveals a gender bias related to clinical trials and medication approval for women. Do you share that belief?
- Despite the controversies, some women taking Addyi® have seen an improvement in their interest in sex. What advice would you give women who are considering this medication?
- Are there other drugs for female sexual dysfunction currently being studied in clinical trials?
- For women who don't want to take medication for low libido, but still need help, are there other options?